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.:: daily thoughts views opinions outlooks postures feelings rants loves glissades
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.:: Saturday, August 30th ::.

~ 11:39 PM ~

"...long be a vulture tonight..."

Neale decided on Pueblo Solis for dinner. The chips, salsa, and guac were great. Her margaritas were very good. However, the main courses were sub par. Her chicken mole arrived on the bone with skin and she was not happy. My chile rellenos was ok. Flaco's Cocina does a better version and Tropicana has a great mole. Since it was great night (76 degrees), we ate outside, stopped at Ted Drew's, and sat on the porch. Neale is still not on "central time" so she went to bed early. I am watching "Mallrats", which has its moments.

I tried a Old Dubh tonight and it was as impressive as I expected. Bell's Expedition Stout is a better choice.

the plug
arrow of time
green getaways

~ 05:48 PM ~

"...out in the woods..."

Neale is back. I picked her up at the airport yesterday afternoon. Her flight went well. She met an artist on the flight. She was tired from the week so she went to bed early and got a peaceful 14 hours of sleep. With all her fun in DC and the great crowd she had to hang with, the silence of Webster Groves was a welcomed change. Ellis, of course, was happy she was back but now has two humans to monitor instead of one.

I discovered a tree limb did come down but it was in our neighbor's yard so I pulled it over the fence. She was out watering and we spoke briefly about the Biden VP choice. Turns out her brother went to school with him.

We went for a ride this morning and then to Pita Plus for lunch. The owner of Pita Plus is kinda like the "soup nazi" as he once denied us salad. Today, he was in a slightly better mood. In all, the food is excellent. Next door there is a Indian market and we browsed there. Also, a bead store opened in the same area and Neale decided to take a class in jewelry making.

Neale liked the new color of our front door and wants a black screen door to match. Home Depot will handle that as we purchased an Anderson door. Surprisingly, they did not have a suitable overhead exterior light. We went to Metro Lighting and were disappointed. Finally, at Expo, we found a light. However, overhead exterior lights are rare in comparison to wall mounted lights.

Our nephew, Harrison, broke his arm at a skate park. Happy healing.

fictional sports
This is tough to watch
brain magic

.:: Thursday, August 28th ::.

~ 09:34 PM ~

"...last resort..."

I visited a new building on campus today. I was visiting a student to sign a form that she needed to have signed to return to our course. Due to forces outside of her control, she was dropped. However, she did not have the form so we will try again. Next, I stopped by security for a new key since I am in a different classroom.

Yes, I am watching the DNC.

Our electrical issue is resolved. The wall outlets after the overload were putting out 12 volts instead of 120 volts. The overload caused the light over the Soloflex to be replaced.

Cafe Du Monde
cut & run
08-29-08...New Orleans 3 years later

.:: Wednesday, August 27th ::.

~ 05:33 PM ~

" way, no how, no McCain..."

My Wednesdays this semester are long days. Neale called Krystal to let Ellis out since he has been home alone during this unusual day. Neale, of course, will be back shortly. I have my 4 50 minute classes and then a break in the afternoon, which normally I will use to grade. Today, I am checking the web and watching some video online. Later, I have my night class.


.:: Tuesday, August 26th ::.

~ 05:58 PM ~


I went to Trader Joe's since their flax oil is responsibly priced. They also those soft "fig newton"-like dog treats that Ellis really likes. Neale's car has been in the garage since she left and I have been moving it just to take the garbage can to the curb. Despite being miles from a beach, she somehow has sand in her car. I was cleaning it yesterday and decided I needed professional help. I went General Grant's car wash, which is just down the block on Watson. They did an excellent job and they are always busy.

I had to mail a package and I visited my post office to use the automated mail machine. The process still hinges upon the presence of a pen as you cannot type the address into the printed label. Since this was a federal building, there is only two available .35 cent pens for the public to scramble to use. Of course, they were both being used by people mailing everything in their desk since the Carter administration. One fellow may have voted for Coolidge but the air of disgust and "get off my lawn" he was emitting kept me from making eye contact. If you are wondering why I don't have my own pen, I was in Neale's car and I would still be looking for that pen if I decided to start around 3:30. Yes, gentle reader, the order is this home is managed by me. Not by choice but to merely finagle the chaos. In my car, I do keep a pen for writing at the post office and in heavy traffic during rain storms.

Ellis and I went for a walk. Still nice and mild here.

I have spoken with Isamel's friend that is an electrician. The problem is moving towards solution.

I am pet friendly
Dear Adobe
Johnny Dougboy found a rose in Ireland
protected by Thayer's Slippery Elm

~ 10:50 AM ~

" may never get to touch the Master but you can tickle his creatures..."

Yesterday went well. Today, I have an 8AM Educ class and my race class. I have time the morning for office hours, which is nice. Since I do not have Friday to grade online materials, I am using my campus time more efficiently. Also, with ten classes this fall, I have to keep on top of things. The online sections are going well. I have two more sections of new people to meet this week. As for the online, I never see them unless they attend graduation. It would be nice to have a place for photos in our web class software. But, there is the fascinating image you build of people that you just interact with over the phone or net.

I finished my first 5 pounds of green coffee (Indian Monsooned Malabar) and have moved on to El Salvador Cerro Las Ranas. I will roast some over the weekend as the times has come. Ellis, acting as first safety officer, will remind me to remove the fire alarm battery. If he could only remind me to put it back....


.:: Monday, August 25th ::.

~ 10:58 AM ~

"...who needs a first day..."

Back to school. I have four MWF Intro classes (50 min. sessions) this fall.


.:: Sunday, August 24th ::.

~ 12:55 PM ~

"...who needs a crowd?..."

There was an odd occurrence last night. I was attempting to vacuum the basement floor, which I do regularly. But, since Ellis had a bath this week, there was extra shedding the last couple days. I was also doing a deep cleaning of the basement since I had not done one since December. I use a large dry/wet vac for the basement and I plugged it into a different power strip to finish the last fourth of the basement. Apparently, this caused an overload and the breaker failed. I tried resetting it but the outlets on the finished side of the basement are not working. Much to my relief none of our electronics in the basement were damaged and I have a pair of extension cords running to achieve "normal" until the breaker can be replaced. The socket on the power strip also caused another trip when I attempted to plug in the DVD player. So, this power strip is suspect. I cannot remember how we acquired it. Tomorrow, I will contact a friend that can help. I would like to thank my Dad for the advice of dealing with the today's electric issue. Thanks!

I was watching "Almost Famous", which I had never seen from start to finish uninterrupted.

I painted the inside of our front door white yesterday and touched up the black outside this morning. I need to keep the door open so I have the windows open and the A/C off. It has been a mild August.

strange coincidence or not?

.:: Saturday, August 23rd ::.

~ 12:23 PM ~


I slept well last night but had a dinner that woke me. The weather is holding so a bike ride is going to happen. Also, Ellis would like to see the neighborhood. Typical Saturday afternoon here. Neale is at the Library of Congress and another museum that will be named later. She is also watching "Tropic Thunder", which she would have gone to solo if she was home. Next Friday, she arrives back in the STL.

Photos of the Olympics (not safe for work)
Home Network
The Female Advantage

.:: Friday, August 22nd ::.

~ 06:25 PM ~

"..."Anyone willing to give up liberty in exchange for security deserves neither." - Benjamin Franklin..."

The week is done and I am ready for courses. Having walked all week, Ellis and I are taking the night off. Tomorrow, I may be able to get to the bike path if the rain holds. I should do some more painting. The bathroom cannot move forward this weekend.

I am updating/making my LC faculty page. I had training several semesters ago but never found the time with all the other things going on.

I learned about the demise of Tommie's Hair Salon today.

I fixed the Courtright link below.

knife party

~ 08:57 AM ~

" on a thin line..."

Neale went with members of her DC group to the Phillips Collection last night. She was impressed by the work of Robert Courtright.

Kartoffel knoedel

.:: Thursday, August 21st ::.

~ 07:10 PM ~

"...Hello to Kristyn..."

It has been a busy week. The beginning and the end of semesters are the toughest. I have been prepping for my 10 classes this fall. Also, during our in-service week, we have meetings and workshops. All my classes made and I am almost ready to go with all my courses. I received a new Dell PC at work. My second work PC and it is really nice. The keyboard could be replaced but the screen is excellent.

Rainy and humid here but Ellis and I got in a walk. We went a different way down to Blackburn Park. He got wet so it was a perfect time to give him a bath. He is over his illness and a fresh scrubbing was just what he needed.

We passed inspection on the basement bath project but we may not be able to drywall yet. The plumbers are coming in two weeks to patch the floor. Neale will be back by then so she has agreed to be here for them.

Bannerman's Island
Bannerman Info

.:: Sunday, August 17th ::.

~ 08:51 PM ~

"...Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. - Buddha..."

I went to Grant's Trail, which was busy for 2:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday. But, the weather is mild so people are taking advantage of it. I broke from Grant's Trail after the overpass where I had my accident 4 years ago (handlebar hit a snow fence post) and went up to Clydesdale Park. The climb to the park is a steady climb so it was a good challenge. Plus, the downhill reaches about 23 mph. Luckily, there are no hard corners.

I stopped at Friar Tuck's for malt as they are now my spot for home brew supplies. They now carry liquid yeast so that makes my brewing even better.

Debbie needed help getting to Two Nice Guys so I was drafted to assist the wheelchair & car. Neale called around 7 and spoke with the family. Anna had a great day on the soccer field.

Before dinner, Ellis and I did walk and he escaped a bath once again. He needs to be freshened up. Personally, I enjoy whatever he smells like as he is a dog. However, when he does spy something in the yard he wants to roll in, I discourage his instinct.

I have been enjoying HBO's Generation Kill. It is almost over though.

Sly Stone
Fishbone reunion please?

~ 11:30 AM ~

"...Albania's hard to rhyme..."

Since the bathroom project is awaiting approval from our inspectors, there was no movement this weekend. I did return to the bike path and did a solid, albeit challenging, eight miles. We had not gone to the trail this summer as much as we have wanted due to winds or other plans. However, the fall is approaching and there is still plenty of days available. But, I did spot regulars that use the path. I saw "Weaving Wally the Rollerblade guy" who does not do straight line rather is constantly doing crossovers down the path except when there is traffic. Even tight spots he gets rather close. He is probably a little older than I am and does not own too many shirts it seems.

I also cleaned up the house and replace our bird feeders. The thistle feeder and second bird feeder failed due to use and I found suitable replacements. This week there has been a steady stream of cardinal couples, sparrows, and two woodpeckers. The finches have not returned yet. The squirrels are constant and they seem like a younger bunch this summer. On the bike path, the extension trail from the lake to St. Charles/Katy Trail, there is a short tunnel. In the tunnel, about 50 barn swallows have made their homes. They accept visitors it seems. It would probably freak Neale out but she does not use that part of the path.

I have several tomatoes on the vines. No peppers as of yet but the hot peppers are constant. I could use some more salsa and I may make a relish as several jalapeños are about ready. Yesterday, the Global Market in Kirkwood had beautiful okra so I made smokra last night while my grains steeped. Also, the plums looked good.

A batch of Hull Down ESB was made and I enjoyed a Quadrupel during the process. It was bubbling nicely this morning. Next, I am making a Scotch Ale (Highlander Ale) next. The brew schedule is this: Into the Fade Wit (for Oktoberfest), Aloha Pale Ale, and a Hefe.

While brewing, I started reading "Against that Day" by Pynchon.

Why do we back Georgia again?

.:: Friday, August 15th ::.

~ 11:30 AM ~

"...break the code..."

The plumbers finished the venting yesterday and the electrician arrived at 8 this morning. He has come and gone. We are ready for inspection on Monday morning. New pictures are posted on the photos page, HERE.

I took Ellis to the vet yesterday and he seems to have a bacteria infection bought on by stress. So, he has an antibiotic and another drug to help his GI. I also bought bland canned dog food from them feed him. He was fasting yesterday but his appetite has returned. Also, his energy level is back so we are going for a walk. It is a mild day here, especially for August. He is also not making a mess outside so he should get a bath to freshen him up.

Neale was at the Mets v. Nats game last night. The Mets won. She bought a camera for pictures of the new park and the game so they will be posted when I receive the camera. After all these years, she is providing some content to the site.

Obama tax plan
free turtles rides

.:: Wednesday, August 13th ::.

~ 11:22 PM ~

"...Polo? With the price of oats and sugar cubes, who can afford to keep a horse these days?..."

The plumbers accomplished their goal for today. Tomorrow, the final tasks are to finish the vent piping and tie into either the stack in the attic or just through the roof.

The laundry is back and that makes me very happy. I will spare you the exact details of what caused the clog but the plumbers had a colorful name for it.

With all the work being done, I was able to prep for fall courses and after they left get to the Soloflex and treadmill.

After years of denying it could exist in my kitchen, I made a very tasty lentil loaf using this recipe with small changes.

Yo! Japan
Gelo d'anguria

~ 10:56 AM ~

"..."She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing." — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)..."

The plumbers are here and working on the project of cleaning our sewer line & running new pipe. They have not cracked the floor yet as the sewer line needs cleaning first. When we bought the place, we had the sewer checked and it was clear. That was four years ago and things change with clay sewers so it is getting cleaned. However, that may be a good thing for my private struggle with the washer drain, which is still not ideal. Although I cleaned the washer drain, it is still not draining cleanly. Yet, it is draining. If it is the sewer line, then this solves my washer problem and assists the bathroom construction in one move. Albeit, a stinky dirty one. As far as trades go, we will always need plumbers but if I had to choose I would be a carpenter.

UPDATE (11:24 AM): Sewer line must be clear, the jack hammer has arrived in our basement. I think he got the washer to drain completely.

If I am able to secure some water, I plan on sanding, cleaning, and painting the front door today. It is one of the jobs on the board for August. Neale would like it black. I installed the new hardware in June, which was also the day Debbie broke her leg. Hard to believe it has been eight weeks since Debbie broke her leg.

customer is always right

.:: Tuesday, August 12th ::.

~ 10:50 PM ~

"...son of mr. green jeans..."

Today was much more productive than yesterday. However, the plumbers are scheduled for tomorrow not today. Around noon I called and we had that clarified. I mowed the front and backyard, finished the bathroom framing, and tightened a low wire in our backyard. The last time a limb came down, it bumped our wire. However, I never fixed it nor did Charter or AT & T. I climbed the ladder to the top 'don't stand here' step and tightened it with zip tie (Neale would not have enjoyed watching this). It is next to the house electric wires so there is no wavering at neighbors or slapping away flies allowed. It looks much better after the small but noticeable change.

Ellis is getting better but still not 100%. His appetite and energy level are good. I feed him some brown rice, which he welcomed as a treat.

I was hungry for Chicago style hot dogs so I made some using veggie brats (Dierbergs on Watson was lacking any veg dogs) and skipped the buns.

Solar AC in next gen Prius
Stink cheese
how many goats

~ 09:46 AM ~


The plumbers are hopefully arriving soon. I was expecting them at 8, maybe 9 but they still have not shown. Today, they have to crack the basement floor and begin tying into the sewer line, I believe. It is where I would start.

Yesterday, the day got away from me in a hurry. I was hoping to mow the lawn and finish the framing but my interests took me in different directions. Today, I plan to do those tasks.

Ellis is recovering from his weekend. His appetite is fine but his visits outside have been messy. I will mix rice into his afternoon meal.

Customize your Segway
fiscal conservatives
The Curvature

.:: Monday, August 11th ::.

~ 06:31 PM ~

"...what were you looking for?..."

Washington, D.C. was fun and we had a great weekend. The pictures are posted in the photo section. American Airlines has a great self check-in and I experienced what I read and heard about on NPR. It is $15 dollars for your first bag, $25 for the second, and $150 for three bags. Also, the snacks, blankets, and pillows are now for a fee. I stay with just a cup of water. The flight arrived on time and we had dinner at Spezie. Neale's cold also had the added feature of pink eye, which cleared up quickly. On Saturday, we visited the International Spy Museum. It features materials housed previously at the FBI headquarters in a much nicer setting. It is several floors and has a 'mission' exhibit that has visitors work together as a team to solve a mystery. Although a neat idea it is best suited for a younger crowd and left us expecting more. However, the actual museum was very interesting and spanned US history. After the museum, we had dinner at a brewery across the street and then went to the segway tour. The segway tour was really fun and a great way to see the city. On Sunday, we had breakfast at Ici and then downtown to the Newseum. We highly recommend the Newseum. Several of the exhibits were very moving. The 4D theater had an excellent film, which could have been longer. On the way home, my flight was delayed due to air traffic leaving Dulles so I got home later than I expected. I did not stop me from cooking as I hungry for pasta sauce. The roasted salsa I made before I left turned out great.

I picked up Ellis today and he was tired. Kennelwood provides a report card and Ellis did well for a first trip. However, he has been sleeping since he arrived home. I think he missed his usual routine and personal attention.

cloned dog, mink handcuffs & the beauty queen
Tom Yum
chewbacca defense

.:: Thursday, August 7th ::.

~ 10:49 PM ~

"...that song...."

I finished grading this afternoon. Also, the weather cooled as a storm moved through the area. We left the house with a dark cloud over our heads but missed the rain. Only a few drops interrupted our walk and it was a cool 78 degrees.

I made my first batch of homemade salsa with my backyard peppers. I cannot tell what I should adjust in the recipe yet. The smokra had to wait as I did not make to the market this week.

will eat anything
daze of our lives
watermelon yogurt ice

.:: Wednesday, August 6th ::.

~ 05:23 PM ~

"...stay classy America...."

I visited my doctor today. My plan has been to get an "early morning when they open" appointment as they run behind with people sicker and older than I am. However, my fall teaching schedule is different than in the past so my Fridays are not free. They had an opening at 1:45 today so I went expecting a wait. Luckily, a new copy of Sauce and the River Front Times were there. I also got a lucky find of a new copy of Time. I waited in the waiting room for two hours and saw the doc at 3:30. My wait had the added factor that a elderly man sitting two chairs over was coughing and not covering his mouth, which did not help me relax. Also, two drug reps tried to get in despite the sign on the office door that they were not welcome today. One rep did a dirty trick of "I called 5 minutes ago and I was told I could come in". I was sitting near the nurses' desk and there was no such conversation. The nurse got rid of her.

I have some grading to do but I have all day tomorrow as well.

Chef Shopper
I don't wanna grow up

.:: Tuesday, August 5th ::.

~ 09:19 PM ~

"...They're moving Earth outside.
The ground is shaking like no beat.
A dense terrible sound.
At once both teeming and asleep...."

I slept late and spent five hours grading today. I was also able to achieve non-work related tasks of playing with Ellis who wishes it was cooler to walk, submit our building permit application, and vote in our Missouri primaries. At 3:30 in the afternoon, I was the 50th person to vote using traditional paper ballot. Despite my love of technology, I have never voted using the touch screen devices since the line is shorter for paper ballots.

The zucchini ricotta cheesecake turned out well and had quiche-like properties. It was slightly denser. My first attempt at tamale pie needs was good but I need to season the cornmeal crust more aggressively. Tonight, I found a recipe for smokra and the Global Market will get a visit tomorrow.

the needle has landed
Paris is on the move
Wilhelm Gustoff

.:: Monday, August 4th ::.

~ 06:33 PM ~

"...he's up the stairs cleansing the precious things of the shop..."

The heat index in STL today is a toasty 113. Not wanting to expire of heat exhaustion, Ellis and I are staying inside. I had my gumbo for lunch and I may have the savory cheesecake for dinner. However, I decided to use basil instead of dill since I have plenty of basil from the backyard. I found hand packed ricotta at Whole Foods as well. After watching Rick Bayless yesterday, I may be inspired to make tamale pie tonight.

Tomorrow, I am grading all day to finish my summer class. I will make time to vote in our primaries and drop off the building permit application.

failure pile in a sadness bowl
french onion

.:: Sunday, August 3rd ::.

~ 02:57 PM ~

"...if that don't take the ham off the hog..."

Neale is currently on an airplane headed to Washington, D.C. She will working there for a month. Ellis and I will have to amuse ourselves. I have the basement bathroom project to work on and complete before she returns. Before she left this morning, we went to First Watch and it was my first time there. Overall, it is a decent place. Smoke-free, no frying, and they keep it simple. Neale had the special, which was a crepe filled with bacon (crispy...of course) and I had the Tri-Athlete egg white omelette. They do not charge for egg substitutions, which is helpful. Their coffee and water at the table is a nice feature, especially since I can empty a pitcher by myself. However, their coffee was slightly "syrupyie". Yes, that is not a real word.

After the airport, I stopped at PetsMart to restock Ellis' cookie jar, Home Depot for paver stones to finish the backyard walkway, and Bed, Bath & Beyond for a sofa cover. Why are sofa covers so expensive? I needed a springform pan for a savory cheesecake I am making, found a Yankee Candle Beanswax Over the Moon candle, and new mildew resistant shower curtain. I have yet to find a shower curtain that keeps its promise.

I have two small green tomatoes on the big plant this morning. I have also allowed a tunnel web spider to make a home in my planter. I am hoping the spider will police any bugs that want to eat my plants. The hot peppers are doing great and the squirrels & birds have not bothered them this season. The cage around the tomatoes has kept them away it seems. One bird was inside the enclosure the other day and had a tough time leaving when Ellis and I visited the backyard. Ellis has taken up a fascination with backyard rain spout. Occasionally, a bird or chipmunk hides inside the rain spout and Ellis is eager to meet them. He smelled a baby bird once and did not bother it further. However, he now knows how to remove the rain spout in an attempt to flush his quarry. Yet, the animal retreats higher into the spout and the noise only mocks him.

Kelly, one of Neale's coworkers, welcomed a labradoodle to his home this weekend. Personally, I think they look like a Fozzie Bear.

Belleville's own, Jeff Tweedy, is singing at Wrigley today. In other news, Belleville recently got its first black police chief, which for some Belleville residents was quite a change.

I had Panchero's for lunch and I was happy to see the place busy.

types of dogs

.:: Saturday, August 2nd ::.

~ 08:53 PM ~

"...Non Incautus Futuri..."

I was up early to prep for work on the project. It went well. There is just a little more left to do.

Neale was also up early to accomplish a few tasks before she leaves tomorrow. She had to pick up paint, pack for her trip, and visit Debbie for the recovery care.

For a reason yet unknown, the clothes washer drain is acting up, which slowed doing laundry this morning. I decided to replace the hoses and that part of the repair went well (1 3/4 inch reinforced clear PVC tubing & 5 min. epoxy...ok, a little duct tape too). However, it did not solve the problem completely. I will look into further tomorrow.

Neale is off to D.C. tomorrow. We will go to First Watch for breakfast before she leaves.

Zod 2008

.:: Friday, August 1st ::.

~ 01:10 PM ~

"...Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that..."

This is the last Friday of my summer classes so I was busy grading & reading. However, I was also awaiting the Webster building inspector. We wanted to check to make sure the bracing & framing we had in mind for the bathroom was proper. Of course, they want us to pull a permit (gee, what a surprise). There is existing framing and the previous owner did it 60% right. But, we do things right and right the first time so it is best to have everything approved.

Since the inspector did not keep me waiting, I was able to walk Ellis. It is warm here and a good day to work online. Later, I am planning on sushi.

smurfing good
hours of darkness

.:: Thursday, July 31st ::.

~ 08:13 PM ~

"...You may like those pants, but your hips hate them..."

Warm day here but it was tolerable. I worked in the yard and mowed both yards, which is rare to do both in the same day. The grass is healthy and summer heat has not scorched it yet.

My traditional summer class is ending early as we will get presentations done early. There was an idea to have one class group since it was a small group but that split into four groups over the course of the semester. However, one student got a new job and presented early. Another student had to leave early as a family health issue arose. In related LC news, my school is switching class schedules in the spring due to gas prices. I have long favored flex time and a four day work week for Americans. Maybe this is another small step in that direction.

wild landscape
Chat with a Google Street Viewer driver
MO primary

.:: Wednesday, July 30th ::.

~ 06:40 PM ~

"...he's an average boy isn't he?..."

I made a comment in class the other day about teachers and apples. I received two zucchinis today from a student. He had excess produce from his garden. I made zucchini bread and I may share.

Adaptive Sports Rehab for Soliders
Passive Aggressive Appetizers
Odd stuff
Deleted scene from Dark Knight

.:: Monday, July 28th ::.

~ 08:58 PM ~

"...first I gonna make it, then I'm gonna break it..."

We went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner and since Neale did not have a cake yesterday, we went to Cold Stone Creamery for an ice cream. I had sorbet. At Sweet Tomatoes, Neale dropped her entry for the Sweet Tomatoes "30" contest. She wrote the essay from the perspective of Ellis. Isn't that a fresh angle?

We had fun yesterday at Britt's house as we celebrated Neale's birthday. Steve and Joan were in town. They bought Judy over from Alton as Steve was in town for a high school reunion and he was staying across the river. Neale was surprised to receive Betty's Pedre watch. Jack, her grandfather, passed it on to her. Before the party, we gave Jack his new VCR as he is having some issues taping programs. However, the issue is not solved yet.

Pictures from Neale's 33rd are up. Please check out the photo page.

Yes, we have Cheesus
new I 64

.:: Friday, July 25th ::.

~ 11:53 PM ~

"...what can you say?..."

My breakfast burrito turned into regular enchiladas, which were very good. Later, Neale was hungry for mac n' cheese so I made that for her. I managed to make three rues in one day as I had gumbo for dinner. Instead of using my gumbo recipe, I used Alton's Shrimp Gumbo with the exceptions of no shrimp or sausage. Even without the meat, the rue and the seasoning is the key and I was much happier with the result. The gumbo rue was the easiest as I used the stove to achieve a nice red brick rue.

Neale watched "The Contender", which is a very good but overlooked movie. I remember I saw it on a week night in 2000 while Neale was out somewhere. I saw it because I was in the mood to see a movie and I remember there was only one other person in the theater at the time. Currently, I am watching "The Descent" and it is not the best movie of the movies I have seen that uses a cave as the main setting. Yes, "The Mole People" still is my favorite.

We watched the Mets and the extra innings came out in favor of the Cards. Despite pitching a guy that never started a major league game, they made a game out of it.


~ 11:10 AM ~

" and my arrow..."

I was a late scratch. On Wednesday, I pulled a muscle in my hip, which I was careful with for the next two days. I jogged on the treadmill both days and the muscle was getting better. On Friday, I went to the track and ran a strong 5 laps with a time around 10 minutes. When I stopped I felt great but by the time I drove home, the muscle was tightening in my hip. I had a haircut at 1:30, which I desperately needed so I was not able to start my heat/ice/soak routine. I took two Aleve and that was not doing it. I stopped for IcyHot, BenGay, and Thermacare patches. The Thermacare patch offers a nice heat. I took a soak in an epsom salt bath, which helped but the knot was still there. So, I could not run this morning. It is feeling better but not near normal. It is just a matter of time.

On Tuesday, Neale was looking forward to a Bessinger's truffle but the location in the Central West End was closed. I stopped at the Galleria on Thursday for small box.

Neale is helping Debbie who is still recovering with the broken leg.

Luckily, I have nothing that needs to be accomplished this weekend around the house. Neale and I are taking it easy.

I am planning my a breakfast burrito. A few of the backyard hot peppers will add to my enchilada sauce.

first aid myths
why veg

.:: Thursday, July 24th ::.

~ 08:32 AM ~

"...all true stories..."

Yesterday, we met with Ismael to buy materials for the bathroom. We came in under budget on materials. We discussed the ceiling in the bathroom and will frame around the duct work.

The weather was cool yesterday so Ellis and I were able to walk. Also, I was able to run for the upcoming race on Saturday.

African descent
Tobacco can help?
Coffee Fool
Hemp oil

.:: Tuesday, July 22nd ::.

~ 09:14 PM ~

"...they call her Lassie..."

We stopped by Sub Zero for a drink before dinner. They have a good menu too. We went to Bar Italia for dinner. They were having an off night on service as the wait staff and busers were absent. However, the food was very good.

Very sad to hear about the death of "Christmas Story" director Bob Clark.

~ 02:11 PM ~

" for the hills..."

Happy Birthday Neale.

It is cooler here today so if the electric estimate gets done early, I will take Ellis for a walk. Our electrician was unable to make it Friday so we rescheduled. There are storms in the area but currently it is dry.

I tried my first homegrown habanero for lunch and it was very good.

the state

.:: Monday, July 21st ::.

~ 07:01 PM ~


Despite the heat, I mowed the front yard. The front yard was mostly shade in the afternoon. However, it is still hot to walk Ellis as it is a toasty 95. The humidity is low though. Yes, so many people complain about the weather but don't do anything about it. Local hero, Mark Twain, gave us that one.

The polyed the hand rail so it almost ready to go back up.


.:: Sunday, July 20th ::.

~ 12:28 PM ~

"...Art is making something out of nothing and selling it..."

Neale is helping Debbie out with household chores. It is hot here but I am still considering mowing after lunch. I was deciding what to have for lunch and decided on a roasted beet and fennel salad. I also made hummus for later.

I added kelp to my diet.

that settles it
blue sky potatoes

.:: Saturday, July 19th ::.

~ 08:51 PM ~

" is noise..."

We went to see "The Dark Knight" and it was very good. I favor the first one though. The sequel was quite good though. Afterwards, we went to Growlers.

Natasha is dead

.:: Friday, July 18th ::.

~ 01:47 PM ~

"...My other car is a Pynchon novel..."

Barry, our electrician, is coming to estimate the bathroom project. We need a new light switch, GFI outlet, and a ceiling/light fan. Webster code requests that we vent the bathroom despite there not being a shower or tub. We are doing this project right as opposed to the slapdash actions of the previous owner. The basement was used as recreation area as there was a homemade bar (covered in lovely paneling), which I removed the day after we took ownership. The original basement bathroom was to keep the patrons happy during card playing, I believe. Needless to say, since I am having a visitor, I cleaned the house.

Inspired by a food blog, I am making homemade pita bread.

I noticed some redness on my neck last week and it was irritation from shaving. I was curious how to solve this and I found a preshave oil to use before I use my electric shaver. It is working great.

The front yard still needs to be mowed. It should be cooler in the afternoon.

cartwheel driver pasta

.:: Thursday, July 17th ::.

~ 12:08 PM ~

"...we meet at last..."

Firefox updated yesterday and I installed the update. Two of my extensions were not coming along with the new version and the one I had concern about was Tab Mix Plus. It is a great addon that makes Firefox even better. I knew that other people would feel the same way so there had to a "fix" available. The addon/extension has not been formally updated since June '07. I waited until this morning and found a fix on the Tab Mix Plus website in the forums. It worked for me. It involves editing some code in the installer file but it is not too complicated.

Planning on grading soon and would like to mow the front lawn. Neighbors are watering their lawns despite all the rain we had here in the spring. I watered the front yard plants last night and will check the backyard today. The hot peppers are thriving and I used a few last in a quesadilla. While I walking Ellis, I noticed a neighbor had four tomato plants in a side yard planter surrounded by yellow flowers. The plants looked strong and already had fruit. Yet, the squirrels did not bother them. Is it the yellow flowers ringed around the plants?

I put another coat of stain on the handrail. Probably go with one more before poly.

beyond the wheel

.:: Wednesday, July 16th ::.

~ 05:31 PM ~

"...morning in the sub-basement of hell..."

I have tomorrow off from campus so I went to buy groceries today. Hard to believe but my summer classes are nearing the finale. Tomorrow, I am going to catch up on grading.

It is warm here (92) so I am waiting to walk Ellis.

oh, there is a trip involved alright

.:: Monday, July 14th ::.

~ 08:19 PM ~

"...face on your pillowcase..."

I made Neale a pesto using our homegrown basil. As the picture below shows, it is thriving.

The stair rail received its first coat of stain. It has seen better days but the new stain and poly will help it.

Ellis and I went for a walk. We met our UPS man (again) as we left for the walk. I decided to try a R.H. Forschner Santoku knife and it arrived today. I already made dinner so I was not able to try it yet. It is an inch shorter than I have been using for the last few years.


.:: Sunday, July 13th ::.

~ 10:46 PM ~

"...bullforg calling me..."

Neale went into work this morning.

I slept in (as did Ellis) but accomplished a few tasks. I finished the basement painting touch ups. I also cleaned a few rugs and the house. The bathroom ceiling needed a scrubbing and bedroom needed a dusting. Then, I moved outside to mow the backyard. The backyard is growing slower than the front this summer. The staining of the basement handrail is ready to do.

Neale needed a side dish for tomorrow so I did a Szechuan Green Beans. She has some leftover pork from Saturday to enjoy.


.:: Saturday, July 12th ::.

~ 08:05 PM ~

"...I have 4 pounds of pork in my backpack..."

Neale needed an oil change and she uses the Mazda dealership as every 5th one is free. It turns out she also needed new front tires as they were worn. I dropped her off this morning and she took my car downtown to work. She is working this weekend. I came home to do the laundry and plan dinner. I also got a good chunk of work done in one of my online classes. I wanted to do a braised pork for Neale as she has been enjoying the pork at Chipotle recently. I used our cast iron and choose a 4 pound pork shoulder. First, I seared the pork shoulder including the ends in the cast iron fry pan. Then, placed the pork in our cast iron dutch oven with fennel, carrots, onion, and celery. Also, Coppola chardonnay, vegetable broth, and sage made up the braising liquid. We shared a walnut beet goat cheese salad.


.:: Friday, July 11th ::.

~ 08:23 PM ~

"...Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live..."

Our dentist has a great new office. The practice is growing. Instead of staring to that place over the right shoulder of your dentist or hygienist, there is now a flat screen TV. I had no cavities but two of my old silver fillings are failing so he wants to replace them.

Ellis was an ok patient at the vet. But, if you had 4cc's of liquid forced into your nose, you may squirm too. Ellis is weighing in at a slim, for his frame, 33.6 lbs.

I decided to work in the yard despite the promise of thunderstorms. I was able to accomplish a few things, like extending the backyard walkway. I had to remove tree roots to fit a few stones. For the Bill House project, I was able to procure a great axe. The chopping was easy on the roots but tough on the hands. I have blisters on my left hand.

~ 11:37 AM ~

" your matches..."

Neale is headed into a busy few days, which could become all week. She is clearing cases before her trip to Washington.

Last night, I made a dip that Neale has had at parties recently. It is a mexi-corn, tomato, black bean, and chunky avocado dip. The dressing consists of vinegar (I used apple cider), oil (I used vegetable as the recipe directed but olive would work), and Italian seasoning (recipe called for a pre-packaged mix but I make my own...too much salt in pre-packaged typically). We got the recipe from Cristal who was going from memory. It was moist so we will pull back on the liquid. It tasted good and works well with 'scoop' tortilla chips. I also made one of Neale's favorites...potato leek soup. Dierberg's has had great leeks for the last few months. On the topic of salt, I do watch how much I eat and using kosher salt helps achieve that. The bigger grains are easier to watch/count. Neale does not eat or use ketchup and the last big bottle from Costco was used this week. I noticed that Heinz offers a low salt ketchup. I tastes just the same to me.

I have a dentist appointment today. Our dentist recently updated his office location. The new place looks great. Also, Ellis has a visit to the V-E-T for a vaccine booster.

Last week, I cleaned the drape over our living room couch. It was dusty and I doing a room by room check of what has or has not been cleaned lately. I enjoy cleaning and find it rewarding. One of the first Neale and her mom noticed about my apartment in Terre Haute was how clean it was, which was not "typical bachelor pad" funk. We attempted to rehang the drape after I ironed it but it was not cooperating. So, we left it for a few days as the week got busy. I tried to rehang it today but it is a two person job.

I was hungry for beets and Neale mentioned a warm beet and goat cheese salad. I tried Purple Haze goat cheese a few weeks ago and work well in a salad.

Wiki crutch
a real horrowshow - a nice, warm vibraty feeling all through your guttiwuts
Home At Last

.:: Tuesday, July 8th ::.

~ 08:30 PM ~


Hot day here so we cut Ellis' walk back. I did some grading and finished my workout. After taking a week off from the Soloflex, it is nice to be back to it.

Neale really liked the blueberry ice cream I made. Cristal approved as well. On Sunday, I made a loaf of wheat bread and it was best homemade bread yet. Tonight, I made Neale a green chicken curry (add yogurt) and my version has improved. However, I am still doing my research and wanted to do some reading about cooking so I purchased a few books for reference over the weekend. She ordered in Fortel's last night and I realized I had not cooked for her lately.

kicks are getting harder to find
Blue laws

.:: Sunday, July 6th ::.

~ 03:23 PM ~

" the feel back..."

I let Ellis out and followed him to check the backyard plants. I had my first taste of my hot pepper crop on Friday. The serranos are growing strong, the cayenne pepper plants look good, and the jalapeños are available. The haberenos are growing the slowest. I felt it was a shame to not use the basil and oregano so I made a roasted tomato soup for lunch.

I tried to print exams this afternoon but the HP cartridge is not working. It was my last one so I will have to pick one up tomorrow.

Neale is at work.

royal noir

.:: Saturday, July 5th ::.

~ 09:26 PM ~

"...Saint Louis: trying too hard is a hobby..."

Neale had to help Debbie this morning. I cleaned our home. We left for MO wine country around noon. I reserved a table on Thursday for the Mount Pleasant patio. They had a wedding in the evening but the patio was full of people and The Soulard Blues Band after 2PM. We heard some great music, discussed tan lines, and left around 5. Of Alvin Jett & the Phat Noize, (Neale is fond of the bass player) Gumbo Head,, and SBB, we are torn on what is best. Alvin Jett is my choice and Neale likes Gumbo Head. Don't let girls fancy bass does not end well. An old giant Yellow Dog was wandering the patio for food during our visit. Neale was challenged by the gender of a Augusta Police Officer [PAT!] and I won the Maria Bello/ Mary McCormack bet.

We gave Granite City Brewing a try for dinner and it was ok. The beer was good (Bud lager clone, bock, IPA, & a stout were the choices of the day), the food well done (no menu veg options but a flatbread pizza or Alfredo), and a nice size place (Olive & East 270...where a chain restaurant starts and fades in West County STL) but not good enough to crack into our regular restaurant rotation. Their spinach artichoke dip was good, the garden salad nice & crisp, and Neale's sausage rigatoni was good. But, nothing distinguished the place. However, it is nice to visit someone brewing and serving beer in the STL that is not Bud. But, a Hefe as 'special' during the summer lacks imagination. The Cards won while we were enjoying our spin dip.

Fireworks were great last night. We went to the north side of the Webster football field. We were very close.

Ellis met the neighbor visitors' Yellow Lab and miniature wiener dog. He approves.

How Not to Shoot a Gun
who can turn the world on with a smile?

.:: Friday, July 4th ::.

~ 04:55 PM ~

" day..."

Neale is at Cristal's party. I was more interested in making noise and watching "American Hardcore".

survival kit contents check

~ 01:34 PM ~


I was able to mow the front yard before the afternoon rain on Thursday. Also, I trimmed the pine tree in our front yard. There were dead branches and one that hung low, which bothered me during mowing. Neale had the idea that I make the cut close to the trunk to avoid "stumps". I think she was trying to discourage me from climbing the tree again. The weather has been great this weekend. Neale went for a walk today but I did not.

My new acoustic arrived yesterday. Neale said it sounded much better and she could tell before she saw it. Pics soon...

We had lit some fireworks last night. The Morning Glory sparklers are nice.

this is history
At the Helms of Hells Ship

.:: Thursday, July 3rd ::.

~ 02:36 PM ~

"...penny in a diamond mine..."

The Left Field Landing is a new feature at Busch. We highly recommend it. It is in the far left field corner under the overhang from Big Mack Land. The foul pole is close by but your line of sight is not affected. The seats are slightly elevated above field level. You have seating in a tall bar chair with a back at a long table. There are only two tables and 28 seats in the row. The free food was hot dogs, brats, chips with nacho cheese, and sauerkraut. The food is available for several innings. I was not expecting a meal but I was able to make an excellent plate of sauerkraut nachos with jalapeños. Soda and water are free for the entire game. They serve free beer for 3 hours, which includes rain delays. The beer choices were Bud Light and Bud. The entire cost for this is $60 a person, which is a good value. The game has a slight rain delay and it ended in favor of the Cards. It was a good game to watch. The group next to us was a fascinated with Skip Shumaker and around 'last call' the women in the group kept yelling 'Skippy' as he was playing left field. Skip was not impressed nor interested.

We slept late, went for a walk, and Neale was in the mood for a movie. She went to see "Indian Jones and the Crystal Skull", I believe.

With my chocolate chip cookies gone, I started the blueberry creme fraiche ice cream this morning. I churned it after our walk and it should be ready for tonight. Neale tasted the mix before I churned it and she was impressed.

I plan to mow and doing something productive today.

Exercise TV

.:: Wednesday, July 2nd ::.

~ 06:00 PM ~

"...not from a Jedi..."

We are off to the Mets/Cards game. Pedro is pitching and we are hoping he rebounds from his last outing.

Neale has approved of my homemade bacon experiment. Since I want to try the technique, Ellis will be even a better companion/assistant and she gets the rewards. I made her pulled pork and got up with the meat at 2 and 4AM just to stir/check the meat. It turned out well. I get to use my homemade smoker again (see last Fall pepper experiment).


.:: Tuesday, July 1st ::.

~ 04:25 PM ~

"...dray days are here again..."

Neale is providing Debbie with company during dinner. Cristal is bringing Village Bar burgers.

The Mets/Cards game was on a great June night. It is very mild for summer in Saint Louis. However, John Maine, his dead arm, and errors gave the home team fans something to cheer about. As for me, there was a tear in my beer.

Ellis and I are going for a walk. We are going to see if the carnival has started.

I had no luck finding one Mets t-shirt in Saint Louis. I knew it was a long shot but I thought there may have been one "out of town" rack in a sporting goods store. Neale wanted one for tomorrow. Yes, short notice too.

I went to Schnuck's for air freshener. The self check out person had a cake at her station. I asked if it was her birthday and she said 'no'. Then, I looked at the cake and it was decorated with "Happy Birthday Fatty". That is both funny and sad at the same time.

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Photo from our 2006 visit to Maui. More on our photos page.



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